Route Via Podiensis
This route (GR65) takes you from Puy-en-Velay in the
Haute-Loire to the Basque town of Ostabat, where it
joins with the two routes below.
This is the most historical route and it also boasts
the most churches - and therefore attracts the most pilgrims. There
is plenty of accommodation, with a pilgrim
gîte every 10 km. Some claim it's the most beautiful,
with diverse landscapes, authentic villages and some
stunning architecture along its 700 km. This is French
countryside at its best.
Don't forget to visit the cathedral at Puy, where you'll
find the famous Black Madonna. Other landmarks include the
towns of Figeac and Moissac, and the volcanic
Route Via Lemovicensis
If you want to discover the countryside from Burgundy
through Limoges and Perigueux and then down to Ostabat, this
route, also known as the Vézelay Way, is for you.
This choice will offer splendid views as it takes you along
part of the Loire valley and crosses woods and mountains, hills and valleys.
There are two variants at the beginning of
this route, so you can either pass via Nevers
The Vézelay Way is also distinguished by its wealth
of historical heritage. Highlights include cathedrals at
Bourges, Nevers, Périgueux and Saint-Front.
Route Via Turonensis
Also known as the Paris Way or Tours Way, this route is
the furthest north and west. It is traditionally taken by
travellers from the Low Countries and leads from Paris
to Ostabat via Tours, Poitiers and Bordeaux. The point in
Ostabat where it meets Via Podiensis is known as the
The Tours Way is a natural corridor to Spain, the only
obstacles being the Loire and Garonne rivers. This makes
it the easiest of the four routes and ideal for cyclists. Between
Tours and Mirambeau you can follow the walking
route GR655, though this doesn't cover the whole route.
Whichever route you choose to explore, make sure you
take a guide book so you don't miss the treats that are in
store for you.
1. Saint Pierre Abbey, Moissac.
2. Puy-en-Velay cathedral.
3. Condom. 4. Argenton-sur-Creuse.
5. Bourges 6. Tours. 7. Blaye. 8. Chartres